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Research at St Andrews

Bettina M Bildhauer


Bettina M Bildhauer
Postal address:
School of Modern Languages
Buchanan Building, Union St
St Andrews
United Kingdom


Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 463663

Research overview

My research focuses on medieval German literature in its cultural context, and on modern perceptions of the Middle Ages. My approach combines close analysis with recent theoretical ideas. The main topics of my research are monstrosity, blood, medieval film and now things.

Underlying much of my research is an interest in the limits of the human, both of individual human beings and of what counts as human. My monograph Medieval Blood (2006, paperback 2009) is concerned with blood as a crucial part of conceptualizations of the body, gender and subjectivity, as a marker of where bodies and humans end. It is particularly interested in the connections between medical, religious and literary ideas about blood, and in the anxieties expressed through the medieval obsession with blood.

In addition, I have studied how humans are distinguished from other beings, especially monsters. My co-edited collection The Monstrous Middle Ages (with Robert Mills, 2006) is part of this interest. I am currently working on a monograph on how humans are distinguished from things in thirteenth-century German texts.

My second main interest is the role of the Middle Ages in modernity. I work in particular on how the Middle Ages are represented in German cinema and film theory. My co-edited collection Medieval Film (with Anke Bernau, 2009) and my monograph Filming the Middle Ages (2011) investigate the crucial function of the Middle Ages for defining what it is to be modern, and what cinema can achieve.

For my work in these areas, I was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize for 'outstanding young scholars who have made a substantial and recognised contribution to their particular field of study' in 2009.

I am a frequent reviewer for the TLS and other journals.

I welcome applications from prospective PhD students in related fields.

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